They say it's a right of passage to have a lemonade stand as a child. I say throw two IKEA LATT kids tables together, paint them white and you're set to go!!!

Our daughter Noelle, who is 6, told me a few nights before school started that having a lemonade stand was on her list of 'must dos' for the summer and she seemed pretty set on it. Without having much time to think about it, we put the kids to bed, I found the two IKEA tables in the basement and a few pieces of scrap wood and set to work (big thanks to my hubby for screwing the wood into the tables enabling a stand to be made). 

kids lemonade stand

Our IKEA kids tables mainly get used for parties or when kids come over for playdates and were definitely not in the best shape, so after finding the pieces of scrap wood to use as the 'stand', I used some leftover paint from my playhouse project last summer and quickly painted it all. You can see how dark it was when I snapped a photo once the paint was on. This is devoted parenting at its' best, right?! Ha!


before ikea tables
before ikea table hack


lemonade stand

I made the 'LEMONADE' sign the next morning by cutting out large triangles from card stock and sticking some gold foil letter stickers on. I already owned the drinks dispenser that we use all the time for parties and playdates and apparently now lemonade stands too!!! The adorable silver star garland is from Pearl and Jane on Etsy. The girls and I walked up to the flower shop to choose some flowers for the stand and they picked out this sweet combination themselves. They also drew, coloured and cut out the lemons and stems to stick onto the stand for decoration. Aren't they the cutest?! This is definitely my favourite detail of all!!!

pouring lemonade
kids having fun at summer lemonade stand

Everyone who came by commented that at 25 cents, our lemonade was the best deal around. I guess we wanted the stand to be about having fun and not making money and we even had a jar of quarters for anyone who came by who didn't happen to have change with them. This turned out to be a great idea as we could then give out free lemonade (therefore getting more 'customers') while the kids could transfer a quarter from our money jar to theirs. Watching the joy on their faces when their neighbourhood friends stopped by was priceless; such a great summer memory.A win win for everyone!

sign for lemonade stand
dulton kitchen scale
summer flowers

We have owned this little silver scale for years and it made a perfect accessory for the stand. The kids filled their own glasses up more times than I was willing to count but I suppose that's half the fun, isn't it??!!

Noelle filling up lemonade
Cutie Xav
bags of lemons

So, there it is. A summer bucket list item ticked off for the kids and hours and hours of fun for us all. Who else has a couple of IKEA kids tables kicking around?



get the look for the playhouse makeover

If you're looking for a fun and rewarding summer project, the playhouse makeover is for you. Here are the sources that brought this project together, as well as 2 cans of Behr paint. The kids LOVE the result and so do we. Enjoy!


01./ Wall vases; 02./ Wooden playhouse (similar); 03./ Door mat; 04./ White chair; 05./ Light garland; 06./ Market basket; 07./ Chalkboard sign; 08./ Chalk pens; 09./ Play table.


Melissa Barling and her three kids

After seven years abroad, my sister is home! This is cause for celebration on SOOO many levels (hello real life visits and wine chats on the couch!), and I am very very lucky to have her back here to beautifully photograph my growing family! She mainly photographs newborns over at Amanda Haddow Photography in Victoria but on this occasion she agreed that I needed some mama and babe shots, so we headed to the park with the kids, took a picnic and the kids ran around, picked flowers, made daisy chains and played. 

Melissa kissing Xavier's tummy
Melissa holding Noelle
Melissa with kids
Kaia holding flowers

It is unbelievable how few photos moms take WITH their children and our family is really just the same. I would love to change this but since I am typically the one behind the lens, it may take some time to get used to being in the frame with the kiddies. I had the cutest shirt picked out for Xavier but he absolutely refused to wear it (or any shirt for that matter!) so we just went with it and thankfully that bare belly turned out to be the most adorable thing. Capturing his personality at this stage is really so much more important anyway, right?! Although we rarely get a 'perfect' picture, I look back at all of our photos together with so much love. Seeing how little the kids look in past photos is the best incentive to get out there and take more!

Melissa and Xavier
Melissa kissing Noelle

Just look at my gorgeous little ones! Nothing makes me happier than seeing their beautiful faces and delicious giggles captured to keep for years to come. 

bouquet of small white flowers
Kaia picking flowers
Family photo outdoors

We haven't been particularly great at taking photos all together (even these ones are missing my number one sidekick, my husband) but I have taken lots and lots of the kids over the years and have learned a few tips along the way. Here are my top tips for getting the best success when shooting with kids.

top tips for taking photos with kids
hand on xavier's head
daisy chain headband

At the end of the day, it's the unexpected moments of pure joy or love or surprise that shine. Or in this case, pure goofiness. The outtakes are always so funny. C'est la vie when you have a three year old along for the ride!

family photo out-take

All photos taken by my uber-talented sister Amanda (thank you! thank you! thank you!) from Amanda Haddow Photography. Visit her in Victoria for newborn photography or to book a mama and me session of your own!

Kaia's dress: Zara kids
Noelle's dress: vintage fabric, made by Nana
My dress: Lucky Brand
Blanket: Amazing find from Salvation Army
Basket: Majorel Design
Girls' shoes: Saltwater Sandals
Hat: Hat Attack, similar